Building Your Brand, em no, thanks though
Personal brand is certainly a buzz phrase over the last few years. I mean I certainly understand the concept and I suppose I engage in it more or less everytime I write.
I don't really focus on it, I believe that your brand is what your customers or other people say about you. While you can try to set the terms of your brand, it is really not yours to control rigidly.
Yes you can shape it and take steps to control it and protect it. But in the final analysis it is probably out of your control. However, it astonishes me how many people are focused on it.
I suppose that in the modern work world, who you are matters. Perhaps more than ever with the advent of the Web.
My problem with the concept of personal brand is that it is generally bullshit. Hyped rubbish that often doesn't have much bearing on who we are as an individual. Or, it focuses on one thing we do or wish to be recognised for.
In essence generally it is artifice. The reason that I gravitate to bebee so much is that the concept excites me. For me, bebee is about who I am more or less without constraint.
That is a scary concept, in order for it to be true, I have to lay myself bare. None of us are especially comfortable with that. I am much more than what I do. I am much more than what I write about.
However with the likes of Gerald Hecht Jim Murray Phil Friedman and many others I won't name check, this has become a platform for just that. Laying your thoughts bare in order that you can engage and debate. I really love that about bebee.
So, I may build my personal brand on bebee but it may not be the brand that would be expected. It will probably just be me.
I once overheard some people talking at a conference about me. The gist of the conversation was "next speaker is Geoffrey Cooling, who's he? Irish bloke, really decent, really clued in on digital, brand and Patient retention, mad as fuck, curses a lot!"
You know, I probably couldn't have framed it better.